Students recognized for excellence at BCCC academic awards ceremony

Published 7:18 am Thursday, May 19, 2022

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Beaufort County Community College recognized its top-performing students on April 26 at the Academic Awards Ceremony. Recognitions included honor students, the nomination for the Dallas Herring Achievement Award, the Academic Excellence Award and the winner of the Governor Robert W. Scott Student Leadership Award.

Jazmine Acevedo, this year’s Dallas Herring Achievement Award nominee, is a criminal justice technology student who aspires to work as a corrections officer. The Lexington resident was not sure she would finish high school because of challenges her family faced, but she did. She struggled with a medical condition, but after the birth of her child, she was motivated to earn a college degree as well.

“It will be a blessing to finish this program and start my dream career, providing my son and husband with the life they deserve,” said Acevedo. “It has taken me many sleepless nights just studying and working hard to do my best, but I would do it all and more for the rest of my life if it meant they would never have to go through the challenges I went through as a child. As long as I breathe, I will fight every battle that comes my way because I am truly a warrior in this war called life.”

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The Dallas Herring Achievement Award was established by the North Carolina Community College System in 2010 to honor the late Dr. Dallas Herring, one of the state’s earliest advocates of community colleges. The award is bestowed annually upon a current or former student who best embodies Herring’s philosophy of “taking people where they are and carrying them as far as they can go.”

Wilson Sawyer was awarded the Academic Excellence Award. The award recognizes a student with a GPA above 3.5 with a high degree of campus and community involvement. Sawyer is a dual-enrolled Pungo Christian Academy student will graduate with an associate in arts. According to Sawyer, with Pungo Christian Academy lacking a library, computer lab and reliable internet until recently, the community college helped him get the resources he needed to jumpstart his college career. BCCC has used a USDA grant to allow broadcast classes at the high school for dual-enrolled students.

“Due to COVID-19 and virtual learning, I would often have to travel over 20 miles to my grandparents’ house to complete and submit coursework,” said Sawyer. “Having access to BCCC has opened learning opportunities and helped me overcome many of the challenges I faced. I am grateful that students like me, who possess the desire and will to succeed, can find the support and resources they need through the community college system.”

Katie Council was awarded the Governor Robert Scott Student Leadership Award, the first student from Beaufort to win the Robert Scott Award. She will attend East Carolina University in the fall as a biology major on a pre-pharmacy track and she is an EC Scholars recipient, the highest honor at ECU. Council is a Washington High School senior and captain of the Pam Pack cheerleading team. The enthusiastic SGA president has rarely passed up a leadership opportunity. She is the vice-president of Gamma Beta Phi, BCCC’s honor society, and the president of the BCCC Environmental Alliance.

In 2004, the North Carolina Association of Community College Presidents created the Governor Robert Scott Leadership Award to recognize student leadership on a statewide level while also honoring former Governor Bob Scott. Scott served as the state’s chief executive from 1968-72 and then was president of North Carolina Community College System from 1983-95. Scott passed away in January of 2009, but he was very humbled that the system named a student award in his honor, stated a BCCC press release. This is an award designed to highlight outstanding curriculum student leadership and service.

Other students recognized at the ceremony included students graduating summa cum laude, holding a 4.0 grade point average. These included Brenda Bertrand, Emma Brooks, Makayla Clark, Katie Council, Nicholas Jones, Jessica Mendoza, Haylee Perry, Alex Plasencia Garcia, Danielle Roberson, Mary Schatz, Bethany Waters, Brittany White and Jackson Wilder.

Students graduating magna cum laude, with a 3.8-3.99 GPA, included Molly Avery, Jason Baker, Riley Beakes, Emily Bowen, Keifer Boyd, Stephen Bryant, Todd Burnham, Jackeline Campos, Amanda Carter, Andrew Comstock, Irene Cotto, Karen Curiel, Edmund Gurganus III, Brent Holland, Hope Jankowski, Andrew Lapp, Zoe Maready, Lindsey Moore, Marie Perez, Rebeca Perez-Gonzalez, Jacob Roberson, Kyndall Seger, Andrew Summerlin and Michelle Yelverton.

Students graduating cum laude,  with a GPA of 3.5-3.799, included Matthew Barnett, Emma Barrett, Kimberly Benitez, James Boyd, Latavia Burnett, Miranda Carawan, David Duncan, Raymond Elks, Stephen Eure, Le’Anna Farrow, Faith Forbes, Dagoberto Garcia Edwards, Jenny Harris, Kaylee Harris, Meagan Hart, Janessa Henry, Haylie Kimball, Michael King, Kalyna Mai, Yasmin Mata-Delgado, Matthew May Jr., Alyssa Polumbo, Alexis Satchell, Aaron Sauls, Michael Senn, John Singleton, Madison Singleton, Iesha Smallwood, Aspen Sommers, Gregory Sundberg, Jeslyn Vo, Austin Williams, Tanner Williams and Joseph Young.

“BCCC appreciates the dedication, drive, and curiosity of our honor students and wishes them success as they begin new workplace or university careers,” stated the BCCC press release.